The 16th November was a new beginning for 70 former ELSO employees in a time of economic upheaval in the new German federal states. Instead of going to their usual workplaces, their path lead them to the buildings located in the east of the former premises, which were once intended to be used for the manufacture of ceramic housing shells.
Dr. Alexander Zimmermann, sole shareholder and managing director of RZB in Bamberg, bought this business unit from the Treuhand at the beginning of the month. Tales tell us that this was a difficult decision for him. He had known ELSO and the predecessor company VEB Elektroinstallation Sondershausen for a long time. His father, the founder of the RZB company, was already moving in luminaires from Sondershausen long before the reunification. Dr. Zimmermann had confidence in the skills of the available employees.
On this 16th November 1992, the first manufactured luminaires left the production line under the SONLUX brand. This was the beginning of a long journey with restructuring, reorganisation and investments. The buildings and production equipment had to be adapted to modern standards, and the former raw lignite heating plant had to be gutted. The ceramic furnaces in the rooms of today's injection moulding plant had to be dismantled. At that time there was no own entrance to the premises, no telephone exchange or electricity supply. In short, a modern production facility should arise.
Today, SONLUX is within the RZB group the leading manufacturer of working lights in Germany. In the past, SONLUX were awarded with national and international prizes for their innovative developments. Approximately 140 employees, including 13 trainees, generate sales of more than 20 million euros. SONLUX luminaires are exported worldwide.
18 of the 70 former employees who started in November 1992 are still employed in the company today. They were honored on December 7th by Dr. Zimmermann for 25 years of loyalty to the company in a worthy celebration:
Dolores Andrä, Adelheid Goretzki, Doris Kern, Marion Klingenberg, Isolde Möbius, Margit Weigert, Ilona Rhaesa, Cathrin Schelhas, Petra Stephan, Ulrike Wersenger (luminaire production), Horst Dirkes, Rudolf Herzog (plactics processing), Andreas Ebenroth, Holger Neumann (logistics), Wolfgang Lehmann (Head of General Administration), Bernd Pestel (tool making), Ilona Jung (quality management), Simone Bachmann (shipping department)